The photo of the queue that has gone viral.


In the in-depth interview he granted the Bulletin a few days ago, a point stressed by Jet2's CEO Steve Heapy concerned queues at airports. He was critical of the UK Border Force and queues at UK airports and hoped that there would not be a similar situation with controls at Spanish airports. He observed that if there are queues in the UK for flying out and then also big queues getting into Spain, it won't feel like people are on holiday.

The need to check Covid documentation is a principal cause of queues. Steve Heapy said that "Border Force are woefully underprepared". But it isn't the sole reason. The photo here, which has gone viral on social media, was taken at Palma's Son Sant Joan Airport last weekend. It shows a queue with zero social distancing, and the airports authority Aena maintains that this queue was the consequence of a specific moment when various international flights arrived at the same time. The queue was dealt with, Aena adds, within fifteen minutes.

However, it is reported that employees at the airport have themselves been warning that such situations are likely to arise, while the IATA International Air Transport Association is demanding that digital processes are rapidly adopted and that governments agree standards for digital certificates. Long queues and waits cannot be tolerated.

Last weekend, there were just over 1,000 flights at the airport - arrivals and departures - well below the capacity that Son Sant Joan has been used to in normal times. As tourist numbers increase, the processes need to be in place. In addition, as has been argued locally here in Mallorca, there also have to be adequate numbers of personnel for the controls. Despite Aena's explanation of several flights arriving at the same time, the scene last weekend suggested that there was a shortage of personnel.